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Interview with the Pursuit Zone

Between 1 April – 14 June 2013 I embarked on my 75 day, 1650km (including getting to and from the trail) solo trek from east to west Nepal along the Great Himalaya Trail (GHT).  The majority of the trek was along the Upper GHT but where this was not possible due to technical sections or bad weather, I continued west on the Lower GHT.  The upper sections completed were; Kanchenjunga, Sagamatha, Rolwaling (guide used for 1 day to cross the Tashi Labsta 5760m), Helambu, Ganesh, Manasalu, Annapurna, Lower Dolpa, Lake Rara, Mugu and Humla.

After taking 8.5 days to reach the start line at Kanchenjunga Base Camp (5130m), I started my 1480km adventure west to Hilsa, Humla on 9 April 2013.  64 days 2 hour and 35 minutes later on 12 June 2013 I reached the village of Hilsa to become the first person to walk solo across the GHT.  Even though this was the finish line I still had a further 2 days walking (72km) back to Simikot, the District Centre of Humla, for my flight out of the moutons.

The whole expedition was a phenomenal and very privileged experience.  My route went through some of the worlds most amazing and difficult landscapes that the world has to offer.  I trekked through the Himalayan foothills, forests, jungle, varying villages and the Himalayas during all kinds of weather conditions.  In total I walked over 13 x 5000+m passes and reached 2 x 5000+ base camps.

Throughout my time on the trail I completed a number of tasks too.  I inspected a number of old school projects constructed by the Gurkha Welfare Scheme (GWS) and old Kadoorie Agricultural Aid Association (KAAA) projects such as bridges and micro-hydro. Additionally, I also identified potential future projects for KAAA, ranging from solar, micro-hydro and bridges to individual aid for the severely disabled.  Throughout I also tried to promote the GHT and raise money for two very worth while military charities, the Gurkha Welfare Trust (GWT) and the Soldiers Sailors Airmen Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help.

This trek would not have been able to happen it was not for the hard work and persistence from Khil Thapa from Gurkha Adventures and key members from British Gurkhas Nepal, GWS and KAAA.  I would also like to say thank you to all of the team at the Great Himalaya Trail Development Program for their kind hospitality on completion of my trek and carefully listening to my recommendations for trail improvements.

Photo Compilation of East2WestNepal

In Jumla one week before finishing the GHT.  At this point I had already walked around 1450 km.

In Jumla one week before finishing the GHT. At this point I had already walked around 1450 km.

The official finishing point of the Great Himalaya Trail, the other side of Friendship Bridge.  It had take me 65 days to walk the 1480km from Kanchenjunga Base Camp (although I had walked 1580km in 73 days in total including the time to get to the start point) .  However, the walk wasn't over, I had a 2 day 72km walk back to Simikot to get my flight out. of the Himalayas.

The official finishing point of the Great Himalaya Trail, the other side of Friendship Bridge. It had take me 64 days 2 hours and 35 minutes to walk the 1480km from Kanchenjunga Base Camp (although I had walked 1580km in 73 days in total including the time to get to the start point) . However, the walk wasn’t over, I had a 2 day 72km walk back to Simikot to get my flight out of the Himalayas.

70 comments

    • Doc

      Seth, sorry for the late reply, I have been away a lot recently. Thanks for the message. I am sure you and your guys will love it. Feel free to ask me any questions that you have during the planing phase and send them to east2westnepal@gmail.com. I am in the process of adding more things to the website so people can use it to plan their own trips. Everything I have done has been fed directly to the guys at the GHT Development Programme in Nepal, see http://www.thegreathimalayatrail.org website for even more info. They are a great bunch too and are extremely helpful.

      Speak soon and good luck

      Doc

  1. Ruben Korstanje

    Hiya Doc, you must be nearly done by now
    hope the fly infested hotel wasn’t to bad 😉
    was trying to find an email address to email the portraits i took of you
    in Jumla at Chere Chaur but wasn’t able to find any? Best of luck on the last part

    Ruben,

  2. Gerda Pauler

    Great trip — did it last year; partly supported — the privilege of age 🙂
    There must be a compensation for the unstoppable deterioration of the body.

    • Doc

      Ha, thanks. When did you do it? I’m in the final third of the trail now so I can smell the finish. However, Dolpa is by no means going to be easy!

      • Gerda Pauler

        Started 23.03.2012 in Taplejung — arrived four months later in Hilsa; border to Tibet. Just in case you come across locals who talk about an elderly lady who ate THAT much .. that`s me. Really envy you for going to Dolpo — in my opinion, it was the best part of the trip!

  3. Tenzing Sherpa

    Hello Doc,
    How is going on? Hope everythings are being good with you.. Tenzing from Gokyo

    • Doc

      Hey, all good thanks. I’m still going strong since my Yak burger! Haven’t had one as good since.

    • Doc

      Thanks bud. Hopefully catch up with you guys when I get back. Say hi to everyone for me please, especially your dad.

  4. caitlin sorrell

    well done on all your hard work…..here keeping your lovely mum sane lol all the best caitlin x

  5. ann fogg

    WISHING ALL THE VERY BEST ON YOUR TRAVELS.WHAT A WONDERFUL CHALLENGE AND FOR SUCH A WORTH WHILE CAUSE.A+B FOGG.TAKE CARE.:)X

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